(WIPO code: WS) (last revised May 2021)

by PHILLIPS ORMONDE FITZPATRICK – Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys, Melbourne, Australia

General Information

Area

2,831 sq. km.

Population

203,774 (estimated July 2020).

Capital

Apia.

Languages

Samoan (Polynesian) (official), English (official).

Currency

Tala (WST); 1 U.S. dollar = 2.5257 WST (January 2021).

General Remarks

Independent State since January 1, 1962.

Western Samoa was a German colony from 1899 to 1914, when New Zealand landed troops and took over. It became a New Zealand mandate and, in 1945, a New Zealand-administered U.N. trusteeship. In 1962, the islands became the first Polynesian nation to re-establish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the “Western” from its name in 1997.

The population is composed largely of Polynesians. The islands are fertile and life is leisurely.

Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, agriculture and fishing.

Agriculture is the basis of Samoa’s economy, but the available arable land is only 2.8%, in the coastal areas. Since there is little room for additional land development, it is hoped to establish some secondary industries, such as fish canning and coffee roasting, but capital is a problem.